Reviews

AMD Ryzen 3 1200 and 1300X CPU Review

Bringing in the tail-end of the newest AMD CPUs we have the Ryzen 3 lineup. This is AMD’s offering for the budget-minded PC user. Today we’ll be looking at the two quad-core offerings, the 1200 and 1300X. The 1300X has the XFR technology we’ve seen from the Ryzen 7 1800X, 1700X, and Ryzen 5 1500X/1600X allowing for boost speeds over their typical max. The 1200 is locked to its listed speeds, unless you’re overclocking. One major difference from the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs is the exclusion of Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) from the Ryzen 3 processors. While this does mean a performance hit for multithreaded applications, it also cuts the cost of the product making it accessible to more users. Let’s take a closer look at the lineup now. Read More

GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming SOC Motherboard Review

Today’s newest victim for the torture table is GIGABYTE’s new Z270X-Gaming SOC, their flagship overclocking motherboard. This board has one job, and only one job, to be as fast as physically possible while pushing your CPU as far as possible. There’s notably fewer features than the Z170X-SOC Force, though, because GIGABYTE has gone back to the roots of the extreme overclocker with this board. If anything can handle the punishment, it’ll be this board. Read More

MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Motherboard Review

The MSI X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM is quite a mouthful but it’s also an amazing looking motherboard. The Titanium line from MSI has, in recent years, been their “top of the line” offering. It comes loaded with extras and has a unique styling which sets this board apart from it’s siblings. Currently it’s sitting in the upper price range of the AM4 X370 motherboards at $259.99 from newegg.com. Read More

Noctua Accessories Review

Noctua released a lot of items in May, including the NA-SAV3 and NA-SAV4 vibration isolators, the NA-SAC5, where SATA powers a fan, and the NA-FC1 a PWM fan controller. We will look at each of these accessories (and the kit) in turn. Features of the Noctua NA-SAV3 & SAV4 From… Read More

Noctua NF-A12x15 Fan Review

Noctua has released a new 15 mm thick, named the NF-A12x15. It is designed to fit in skinny places and to provide relatively high static pressure. They faced challenges getting a fan this thin. For example, “For the 12cm NF-A12x15, a steel-reinforced motor hub and brass axle mount are being used in order to assure the required stability despite the fan’s 15mm thin profile.” Remember, Noctua guarantees their products out to six years and to make a thin fan last that long took some work. They also never made a fan this thin. As our press contact commented, “All of the new models are new form factors for us.” So let’s have a look at this, the newest entry into the slim fan derby: Read More

Noctua NF-A20 Fan Review

As of May 2017 Noctua released its NF-A20 fan as the NF-A20 FLX two-speed fan and the NF-A20 PWM variable speed fan. Noctua has been working on a 200 mm fan for years – it first showed a 20 cm prototype in 2013 at Computex, so this month will be exactly four years. They had to have been working on it before that, to make a prototype, but only now has Noctua released their 200 mm fan. As their press relations person said, “We really had to put our backs into this one to make it happen. It’s so easy to build a 200mm fan that spins, but so hard to build one that performs, doesn’t feel flimsy, and will spin for more than 10 years…” Were the results worth it? Let’s see! Read More

ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 Gaming 8G Review

Today on the review rig, we have the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1070 to share with you. The 1070 Strix promises to have good and quiet cooling, your now typical RGB LEDs, and superior performance over any Founders Edition (FE) cards due to the factory overclock. There are a couple of neat features here, one of which is FanConnect, which you will later see why this sets the card apart from the others. Read on below to see if they have again accomplished what they set out to do! Read More

Patriot Hellfire M.2 NVMe SSD Review

Up next in our review carousel is another very fast M.2 PCIe NVMe based SSD. With only Toshiba/OCZ and Samsung generally competing in this enthusiast space, it will be nice to see some more competition. To that end, our friends at Patriot have kindly sent over their 480GB Hellfire M.2 SSD. The Hellfire promises to be pretty quick using its Phison PS5007-E7 controller shared by others in the market. Let’s dig in a bit and see what makes the Hellfire tick, and see how it performs in our testing. Read More

MSI X370 SLI PLUS Motherboard Review

Today we have the MSI X370 SLI Plus on the test bench. This sample is one of the lowest priced motherboards equipped with the AMD X370 chipset in the retail market. Just at a glance you can see that it’s a bit stripped down from its bigger brothers but still appears to have everything you might need to get your Ryzen CPU up and going, even overclocked, and at a reasonable price. The AM4 platform is still relatively new and with that comes a few growing pains. This leaves some of the memory options a bit limited and just finding the right memory for your motherboard can be a challenge since there’s still some compatibility issues on all boards at the moment. There’s another AGESA update scheduled for May, hopefully this will open things up a bit for us enthusiasts. Read More

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